Archive for January, 2009

Photos from Manifest HOPE Party

I snapped a few shots of the main acts at the Manifest HOPE party tonight – Santogold, De La Soul, Moby

Santogold at Manifest HOPE

De La Soul at Manifest HOPE

Moby at Manifest HOPE

Full set is on flickr.

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s First Flight

I’ll try and post my adventures from yesterday tomorrow- but to celebrate the eve of Inauguration I wanted to share with all of you this cool clip of Obama’s first flight on Air Force One (thanks to my friends over at Nat Geo for cutting and providing us with the clip.)

i thought it was really interesting that on his first flight he orders a cheeseburger- he’s so average joe!

Obama’s first flight on Air Force One

A Few Comments On The Inaugural Concert

We Are One concert courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

"We Are One concert" courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

Some of you may have noticed that my V-log of the Inaugural Concert never finished. As planned a large group of people (probably 20 of us) arrived at 19th & Constitution at about 5:30am. By that time about 200-300 people were in line, all of whom seemed to be fresh off the party. We waited in line until about 8am, the time that the gates were supposed to open, in the freezing cold. By that time, teams of army infantrymen and SWAT police were arriving and setting up camp along the perimeter of the National Mall and in the security tents through which every visitor would be required to pass. Another hour went by before the park opened, and pandemonium broke loose. Moving through the security tent was quick; all that was required to pass through was that our jackets be open and that our bags be placed on a table for a quick look by the personnel stationed there.

Waiting In The Cold courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

"Waiting In The Cold" courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

When the crowd exited the security tents it was a five minute dash across the Mall to the Reflecting Pool, where people rushed to the front and tried to stake their space. My group was in the front row along the barrier- our long wait was worth it. Throughout the morning, the area filled in all the way back to the Washington Monument. Everyone was literally shoulder to shoulder and tempers flaired occasionally when people tried to expand their space by sitting down and occasionally laying down. All in all it was a very boring wait between 9am and 11am, which was monotonous except for a few sound checks.

Unfortunately, one of the people in my party had a few unexpected seizures in a row just after 11. The army infantrymen and crowd control police nearby rushed in to help, parting the masses quickly and carrying him off hammock-style on a blanket. As they moved through the crowd towards the barrier, the crowd closed ranks so quickly that those of us who were with the friend with the seizure could not follow. It took us almost an hour to work our way out to Constitution Avenue again, stepping on a lot of people and starting a lot of heated arguments accidentally along the way. Once we had worked our way out of the crowd, we found a triage tent, where the medics on duty were helpful in pointing us to the Georgetown University Hospital, where our friend had been taken.

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Those of you who were anywhere in the vicinity of the National Mall yesterday know that all the roads in the area were closed off by infantry units. A humvee was parked at each intersection spanning an area of at least five blocks in every direction of the mall and maybe more in some areas. Infantrymen in groups of four or more per intersection blocked off traffic and facilitated the massive amount of pedestrian traffic. Sufficed to say that getting to Georgetown University was a nightmare. From Constitution Avenue we made the trek through Foggy Bottom to the George Washington University Hospital. At first we wondered why our friend hadn’t been taken there, but it was explained to us that GW Hospital had been set aside as a mass casualty unit for the worst case scenario; I’m sure that Barack Obama would also have been able to find a bed if anything had happened as well.

Traffic finally resumed at Washington Circle Park (the intersection of K, Pennsylvania, 23rd, and New Hampshire). There we were able to hail a cab, but we sat in traffic for what must have been an hour on Pennsylvania and M. It turns out that our friend was alright. The seizures were determined to be random, and he is in the process of recovery in his own bed.

From the sound of it, the concert was unbelieveable. As we returned to Foggy Bottom late in the afternoon we were able to hear Barack Obama’s voice booming throughout the neighborhood. People were still streaming towards the Mall, though they were fighting the tide of those on their way out. Later in the evening I had the opportunity to watch the Concert on HBO, which turned out to be even closer up than the spot we had abandoned earlier in the day. Though that was a nice consolation prize, I still look forward to more success on Inauguration Day.

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 1

I almost feel like the CNN team with all the Inaugural posting we have going on right now. DC Metblogs certainly has things covered with our team captain Anthony throwing parties at midnight in order to stay up and try and get to today’s concert. We also have Metblogs creator Sean in town who’s also chiming in with his perspective.

That also means that I won’t be remaining quiet this weekend, in fact I’ve already declared my weekend a “Weekend of Destruction.” That means every day til Wednesday will probably be a day I will rock out- leading to a destruction of my health, morals, and what little social life I had to begin with. It only makes sense I declare this a Weekend of Destruction- after all DC is technically in a state of emergency.

So let me share with you my nightlife last night.

While DC has been pretty satisfied with the extended bar hours, the crowds are only starting to come out. On my way to Dupont Circle the metro was packed from the Caps game that just ended however I did see a lot more suitcases than usual in my crowded car. I also noticed that there were a whole lot of tour buses dropping folks off when I got to Dupont.

The Big Hunt was terribly crowded but I was out pretty early at the point- the crowds grew as the hour approached midnight- luckily there was still a whole lot more nightlife to go.

I met up with some friends at Columbia Heights house party which was ok but the keg was kicked soon after my arrival and my crew and I were soon walking over to The Wonderland Ballroom which would of been cool since I’ve never been there but when we arrived we found out they were one of the unlucky ones that decided not to go for the late night license.

That reminds me, make sure you check out the Washington Post’s list of bars open late so you don’t make the same mistake we did.

We ended up grabbing a taxi over to U-Street where Local 16 was finishing up a priviate Inaugural party on their deck (it looked really nice all tented and heated.)

It was great being able to stay out til 4 AM last night- what I didn’t like was trying to get a taxi to get myself back into Virginia. It appears that a few cabs that we stopped didn’t want to leave The District. Concerns over security? Did anyone else encounter this?

Well today should be a little more chill- unlike Anthony I won’t be heading out to the concert but I will be enjoying the Ravens/Steelers game tonight and maybe try out another neighborhood.

Manifest HOPE opens this weekend

Yosi at manifest hopeLast night I went to the opening reception for Manifest HOPE: DC and so so much Obama art I could barely process it all. In case you aren’t aware of it yet, Manifest HOPE is an exhibition which examines how “art plays a pivotal role in creating cultural momentum” by collecting political and progressive works by artists from all over the country – more than a few of which you are probably already familiar with.

Specifically focusing on the areas of workers rights, healthcare reform and the green economy, the show includes pretty much everything you can think of from sculpture to photography to painting and everything in between. You can see some of the works online here. It’s a massive group show so as to be expected some stands out from the others and some will leave you scratching your head but it’s worth seeing for sure, and you only have a short time to do that. The exhibition runs from today, January 17th through the 19th and is viewable from 10:00am – 6:00pm. It’s in Georgetown at 3333 M Street NW (More info here).

[image top right: Event organizer Yosi Sergant at the opening, introducing Shepard Fairey. Full disclosure, I consider both of those guys friends.]

Run DC

Spotted this in Adams Morgan today, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Run DC

Quick and Dirty Weatherization

Antarctica, courtesy of MODIS

Antarctica on 12 Jan 08, courtesy of MODIS

Okay, it’s cold. Not quite Antarctica, but I turned a corner this morning and I swear it felt like it.

While it’s too late to take advantage of the Weatherization Assistance Program, here are some quick and dirty tips for staying warmer at home.

  • Find the one or two worst leaks and plug them.  The best way to figure out where the cold air is getting in is to do a walk around your house holding a tissue draped over a wire hanger.  You can tack up a blanket or plastic sheet during the cold snap, or roll up a towel against the door gap.
  • Optimize the fuel you’re using for heat. In general, you want to use more liquid fuel (natural gas, kerosene) and less electricity (baseboard heaters), and really, wood in the fireplace is not really for heat.  (Though wood is a lot better than storebought wax-and-sawdust logs, which are only for the pretteh.)  Whichever you choose, remember that convection (ie, a fan) can triplify the results.
  • Clean the dust of out intake and blower vent louvers.  This is a quick way to make your furnace work less hard.  Also, run a vacuum cleaner over your furnace filter.  Closing doors and covering some vents can also decrease the load on the furnace.
  • Put on a sweater.  You know that mom was right.  Put on some warm socks, too.  (I myself have been known to wear fingerless gloves when working on the computer.)

Finally, I recommend making soup — face it, going out to eat over the next few days is going to be traumatic.  A nice pot of hot soup on the stove can warm you inside and out.

Stay warm, DC!

Hello DC

Sticky Fingers Vegan BakeryGood morning! I’m Sean, one of the dudes who helped build this whole Metblogs thing. Usually I call Los Angeles home but this week I’m here in DC. I was actually born here so I guess I could kinda call this home too. Anyway, my point is I’ll probably be making a few posts, including some video of whatever chaos that I happen to be running into and thought I’d give you a heads up so you weren’t confused trying to figure out who the new guy is. In addition to wandering the streets looking for inauguration madness, I’ll most likely be working out of the Metblogs DC offices, aka Sticky Fingers. You should be able to find me there 24/7 should you feel the need. Otherwise, Hi!

Frank Warren: The Man With All The Secrets (Part 1)

With the FBI, NSA, CIA, and all the other acronyms it goes without saying that Washington DC is home to a lot of secrets.

But the secrets I’m about to tell you about are much more interesting than those you’d find at the place above.

They are the secrets held by you and; I, the secrets held by the person checking out your groceries, your neighbor, the waitress at Applebee’s. I’m talking about the secrets of the everyday person.

Frank Warren doesn’t know all of them, but he does get an awful lot of them. (more…)

Inauguration 2009: Operation Celtic Renegade Is In Effect

Right now I’m going to say I’d rather get up late, walk to my TV or go to a watch party, and enjoy the ceremony. To me it looks like a hassle to even try and get into town.

Those were the words I wrote in my last post, as I decided at the time I wouldn’t try to go on the mall.

However something funny happened. I made the decision confident that I was falling into the position held by many other of my friends. However upon talking with them on Inaugural plans I found out that I am actually one of the few. All my friends know the risks and perils but still intend on giving it the old college try on Tuesday. (more…)

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